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What Canada's industry minister had to say about the U.S. Ticketmaster lawsuit

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After the U.S. Justice Department announced a lawsuit against Ticketmaster, Canada’s minister of industry says the country will be “looking at what has been announced” while generally “fighting for more competition in every sector of the Canadian economy.”

The U.S. lawsuit was announced Thursday, and accused the event ticketing service of running an “illegal monopoly over live events.”

Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill after the announcement, Industry Minister Francois Philippe Champagne said the federal government will be “taking more steps” towards fair competition legislation, adding Canada has “invested more in terms of enforcement.”

“We have new tools in the toolbox to have more competition and to be able to also conduct investigations,” Champagne said. “So we’re going to be looking into that, and obviously this is something that I know is of concern to Canadians and obviously it’s a concern to me.”

As reported by The Associated Press, the recent antitrust lawsuit with Ticketmaster, filed in federal court in Manhattan, involved 30 state and district attorneys, and claimed that the event ticketing company is “squeezing out smaller promoters, hurting artists and downing ticket buyers in fees.”

Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, has had a track record of conflict between major artists and their fans, including Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift, according to The AP.

Live Nation has denied for years that it is violating antitrust laws, and said the lawsuit won't improve access or ticket prices. The lawsuit has not been tested in court.

In an email statement sent to CTVNews.ca, the industry minister’s office says Canadians echo the concern of U.S. legislators, noting that “Canadians seek transparency and fair pricing, particularly in sporting and event ticket sales.”

“In Budget 2024, we affirmed our unwavering dedication to upholding federal regulations against deceitful marketing tactics, such as concealed fees,” the statement said, adding that the minister of industry will continue to work with provinces and territories to advocate for the “adoption of best practices in ticket sales.”

“This includes prioritizing transparency, bolstering protections for consumers, and combatting fraudulent resellers and practices that artificially inflate prices.”

With files from the Associated Press 

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